Unmanned vehicle deployed in search for missing from boat

The Yomiuri Shimbun
An unmanned underwater vehicle is seen on the private salvage ship Shinnichi Maru in Abashiri, Hokkaido, on Saturday.

SHARI, Hokkaido (Jiji Press) — An unmanned underwater vehicle was deployed Sunday in a search for 12 people still missing after the Kazu I tour boat sank off the coast of the northernmost Japan prefecture of Hokkaido about two weeks ago.

The underwater vehicle from the private salvage ship Shinnichi Maru will search the inside and outside of the Kazu I, which currently sits at a depth of about 120 meters off the coast of the Shiretoko Peninsula. The Shinnichi Maru arrived at the scene Saturday.

An underwater camera from Hokkaido police has taken photos of the inside of the Kazu I, but no clues to the missing people have been found.

Coast guard divers can reach a depth of up to some 60 meters. The Shinnichi Maru will deploy a special technique that allows divers to work at greater depth, starting as early as mid-May.

The Kazu I sank last month. Fourteen of the 26 passengers and crew members aboard have been confirmed dead.